These gluten-free vegetarian stuffed shells are a crowd pleaser that everyone can enjoy! Easy to make and very filling, they’re a hearty, delicious comfort food.
Stuffed shells, the ultimate family-friendly meal?
It’s sometimes hard to find meals that everyone in the family can eat together, since there are so many picky eaters and lots of people with food intolerances. If you’re gluten-free, it can be challenging to find something that you and a gluten-heavy vegetarian diet can both eat.
These gluten-free vegetarian stuffed shells are a tasty meal that the whole family will enjoy. And if you’d like to make them vegan, that is also possible! By using dairy-free cheeses, you can ensure that everyone at the table is happy and well-nourished.
To make stuffed shells requires a few simple steps:
To make these delicious gluten-free vegetarian stuffed shells, you will need the following ingredients:
- Gluten-free shells. I like the Tinkyada brand. These can be hard to find in stores, so you may want to consider buying them online (affiliate link), or through a site such as Azure Standard (referral link) where you can pick them up at a designated drop location near you. Azure is now located pretty much everywhere throughout the USA.
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella and parmesan cheese
- Fresh or frozen spinach
- Minced garlic
- Tomato sauce
First, you will want to boil the shells until al dente. They will continue to bake in the oven, so there is no need to cook them until they are fully done.
Remove them from the water and rinse with cool water. Set aside for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.
In a pan over medium heat, add fresh spinach and two cloves minced garlic. Cook until spinach wilts down, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add to a bowl and mix in ricotta cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
To a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Pick up each shell individually and spoon approximately one tablespoon of filling inside the shell. Place into baking dish. Repeat until all shells have been filled. Top with additional sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
How do I make these vegan?
If you have access to dairy-free cheeses, then all you have to do is substitute them here. Most Whole Foods and natural grocery stores carry several different types of dairy-free cheeses made with cashews, almonds and other nuts, which should work well here.
I can’t find gluten-free jumbo shells, what should I do?
If your options are limited, then you can turn this into a delicious casserole by using smaller shells, or even another type of pasta, and instead mixing it all together in a bowl (including the smaller pasta) and then pouring it into a baking dish. The cook time may be different, so keep a closer eye on it to ensure it does not burn.
You may also enjoy:
Gluten-Free Vegetarian Stuffed Shells
- 8 oz package jumbo stuffed shells
- 8 oz ricotta cheese
- 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese 1 cup for the filling, and 1/2 cup to top the shells with
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 oz fresh spinach
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Boil the shells until al dente. This usually takes 7-8 minutes with the Tinkyada brand, in my experience. Drain hot water and rinse with cool water to get them back to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400F. In a large baking dish, add a thin layer of tomato sauce to the bottom.
- In a pan over medium heat, add fresh spinach and two cloves of minced garlic. Cook until the spinach wilts, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add to a bowl and mix in ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
- Pick up each shell individually and spoon approximately one tablespoon of filling inside the shell. Place into baking dish. Repeat until all shells have been filled. Top with additional sauce and mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.